While I haven’t “experienced” this new form of advertising just yet, it’s yet again more proof the “if you can think of it, you can do it” concept. Now, just where is this new place that people are placing advertising you ask?
It’s not across someone’s forehead.
Or across, a well-endowed woman’s chest.
Think lower, and dirtier. Yup, it’s urinal advertising. I suppose that this type of advertising has been around since the 80s. Remember Nancy Reagan’s “Say No To Drugs” slogan all over urinal cake holders? Well, this time the only function of the item is to advertise.
The advertising technology is basically a slick that is mounted in the corner of the urinal (apparently 8 out of 10 men prefer aiming at the corner) that is heat-activated. Yup, it’s a little black square with text and an arrow telling the participant to AIM HERE. The heat changes the black square to reveal the advertising message.
While apparently this has been used effectively in an anti-drunk driving campaign, I’m not exactly sure what other product would be a willing participant in this type of advertising. I could see unscrupulous companies placing their competitor’s product this type of ad with the message “it’s only fit to pee on.” But of course, calling out your competition in this manner is generally a classless way of going about business.
There is nothing mousy about receiving MacUser’s perfect five mouse rating for Suitcase Fusion 2. This month, two premier Mac-focused publications, Macworld and MacUser, have published favorable reviews on Suitcase Fusion 2:
Keith Martin from MacUser says, “The real icing on the cake, and what sets this version of Suitcase ahead of the pack, is the preview features it offers.”
While James Dempsey of Macworld states, “To my delight, Fusion 2 has done a remarkable job in stability, speed and usability.”
If you’re a Gmail user, you’re probably accustomed to the tried and true blue and white look of the mail application. Well, if you haven’t been upgraded yet, you probably will soon have a myriad of different email themes to choose from.
Choosing a new theme re-skins your entire mail window so that it has different colors, graphics and features. I like being able to change how an application looks, but changing colors isn’t what I immediately noticed. What I like the most is that Google chose to update their Gmail logo with many of the themes.
Here’s the standard Gmail logo.
Many have two color treatment where the entire logo is a single dark or light color, like this one from the New Blue theme.
Things start to get fancy when gradient colors are applied to the logo in the Sunset theme.
The Shiny theme is by far my favorite. Using a sleek, modern sans-serif typeface with a subtle hint of a reflection.
The Desk theme takes a very informal approach to the logo implementation.
The Beach theme uses yet another another informal sans-serif typeface.
The ZooZimps theme logo takes the traditional ‘Google doodle‘ approach to the logo by adding little characters to the lettering.
A playful serif face is used for the Candy theme Gmail logo.
And sketchy lettering the is what was chosen for the Bus Stop theme.
The Ninja and Tea house themes both use a informal, slightly italicized face. I wonder if they added the crossbar to the letter A?
And the final Gmail logo really took me back to my days learning to program in Basic on a Tandy TRS-80. Gotta love that terminal look.
Man oh man do I like James Bond. Old movies and new, Connery AND Craig. I don’t need it to be all gadgets and over the top pickup lines to be entertaining, but boy the stuff Q would come up with! I know people were eight kinds of worked up over “Blonde Bond” but I think he’s doing a fine job and I can’t wait to see the next two (it is said the next one will be the end of this “trilogy” and the one after that will be whatever they want).
I read all the books a long time ago and I’m working my way through them again. They are really good and pretty short so there’s not a lot of extra stuff to wade through just to read the good bits.
This new movie (which I got to see on my birthday Sunday and I really enjoyed) is called Quantum Of Solace which is only a short story title and has nothing to do with the film’s plot (sort of like the last two Bourne movies). Well in honor of the Bond franchise in general I have seen a couple of interesting things I thought I’d blog about today. What I like most about the movies is that they are very stylish and all of the designy things that go into them are really fun. So here you go:
They started as books, so I’ll mention the release of Quantum Of Solace the complete James Bond short story collection. It’s GORGEOUS and you can get it from Powell’s. So pretty! I want one but not to read, just to look at. I think I have all the short stories, so this would be strictly a “look at my book but for pete’s sake don’t read it” book.
Swatch has released a series of Bond Villain watches which are fun to browse through. Yes, there is a Walken watch. I could never wear it but I think the Blofeld watch is neat. I think the Rosa Klebb is one of the nicest ladies watches in the collection too.
If you aren’t up on your Bond villains or gadgets or other bits of Bond info you can find more than you probably ever wanted to know from MI6 or Licensed To Kill, labeled as the Ultimate James Bond Wiki.
For fun I added a Photoshopped James Bond movie poster after the jump, and I included a Lego animation of a bit that Eddie Izzard does about James Bond and his gadgets (insert language warning here).
I hope you enjoy my stack of James Bond goodies. Giving you all this cool stuff makes me sort of like Q, doesn’t it?
I’m excited today- glowing even.
It is a great day when a competitor badmouths you in the headline of a press release. Perhaps that sounds like an odd thing to say. But it’s a sign that you have them rattled. There is also the publicity and inquiries this generates. Not a bad outcome—for us.
I’d be kidding if I said that all competitors are the same. Of course, there is a difference between the ethical ones and those that are not. We have several competitors whom I respect tremendously- they produce good products and rely on their strengths.
Every so often you get a competitor that does it differently. They focus so much on YOU and so little on themselves- not unlike a political campaign (sorry for the reference, I know we have national burn-out on this topic…). The politician chanting hate messages is not usually the most credible.
As Bill says on the ÜberEye Marketing Blog:
“I’ve always felt that calling out your competition brings your own company down a notch on the customer trust totem pole. Whenever I hear one company bashing another I find myself looking for the ulterior motive…”
There is a rule that helps honorable people sleep well: tell the truth. Make great products, support them well, be honest about who you are and what you offer and ”let the best man win.” I simply believe that being genuine is honorable- and respects the intellect of your customer. And from a marketing standpoint- people’s respect for your company is a reflection on your brand, your product and ultimately your employees. As Tom Peters says: integrity is a sustainable competitive advantage.
In the end, what you have to believe is that most people know the difference between the wobbly, squeaky wheel in the slow lane and the quiet, efficient one that long since zoomed ahead leaving it in the dust.
Last week I attended a very informative event in Washinton DC — the Museum Computer Network Conference. The slogan for the conference was very appropriate: “LET’S DO I.T. RIGHT!”. The event provided a program focused on information technology for museums. I had the pleasure of meeting many professionals in the field, including various Portfolio customers.
One topic that has been sparking a lot of interest in this area is Digital Asset Management. There were several workshops, sessions and case studies, all related to how museums around the globe are dealing with their monstrous and growing amounts digital assets. Another important topic to address is why organizations want to manage their digital assets — and there were several discussions about that as well.
The first official day of the conference started out with the popular case study showcase. This year’s focus was around innovation. As you can see from the image below, the room was packed, as Matt Shanley, Photography Department Technical Coordinator and Digital Asset Manager, presented on “Digital Asset Management at the American Museum of Natural History”. Matt has been using Portfolio Server for a number of years now, and shared some success stories, as well as DAM best practices.
Other presenters in this case study showcase include: Art Institute of Chicago (also using Portfolio) on Rapid Imaging, Museum of Modern Art on MoMA.guide as their digital information kiosks, Denver Art Museum on interactive displays, Indianapolis Museum of Art on dashboards as a way of creating transparency, and Jewish Women’s Archive on open source DAM.
After their five-minute case study presentation, each presenter hosted a roundtable, which allowed participants to ask specific questions about their topic. In Matt Shanley’s table, questions ranged from DAM photographic workflow, integration with collection management systems, best approach to organizing digital assets, creating a naming convention and folder structure strategy, among others.
Next month, we’ll be hosting a webcast on how the National Gallery of London is managing their digital assets with Portfolio. Details will be posted on our webcast page, as soon as we finalize them, so stay tuned.
Here is a YouTube playlist of all of the videos that I recorded last night at Ignite Portland 4. I didn’t have enough memory on my camera for all of the speeches, but I think that the few that I did record were pretty darn good.
I think that my favorite was Jeff’s talk on “What Portland can learn from Kentucky” — good stuff!
November 14th, 2008 by Jim Kidwell
We had a great time at Ignite Portland 4 last night. All of the speeches were great in their own way, but much like the Super Bowl, what we were waiting for were the commercials. As a sponsor this time, instead of getting up in front of the crowd, the organizers asked us to put together a 30 second video clip of whatever we wanted. Here’s our entry, I think that it’s pretty funny.
I have a few other videos of the speeches that were given that night, as well as a video of all of the videos so that you can hear the laughter of the crowd (especially the cackles of the women who sat behind us!). I’ll put those up later today.
I spent my Wednesday in Seattle, and not just in Seattle but at the Adobe Campus in Seattle (which is just down the hill from the Fremont Troll). I was at the InDesign Master Class, a conference all about InDesign. I gave a talk about font management in the morning and a talk about asset management in the afternoon, and even got to give away a few Starbucks cards. (Well it WAS Seattle after all!)
I did get a chance to attend a session as well: Thomas Phinney spoke about interesting things you can do with type, and not just make neat things. It was GREAT! There are additional bits of information you can find (it was the InDesign Master Class session so we saw it in InDesign) in the info palette for type. Plus he showed us a few interesting things from Amy Papaelias who has done some fascinating experimenting with type and particularly glyphs and arranging them. If you click enter on that last link over on the right, it will take you to a page of examples of what I mean. One of them might be a bit NSFW since it encourages you to type bad words which automatically get substituted for other things (h-e-double-hockey-sticks turns into heck, for example) and it’s really interesting to see the sorts of things you can really push type to do. If you had told my on my first day as an Extensis employee that I would be excited to attend a talk that included the phrase “discretionary ligatures” I probably would have laughed and then asked you what language you were speaking. Now I am all kinds of interested!
If you ever get a chance to hear Thomas speak, you should absolutely not pass it up. He has some interesting things to say and as a type designer himself he has unique insight into what he’s talking about-plus it’s fun to hear someone say “We need a font for this, let’s use one of mine!” I give talks on keeping your fonts or your assets under control, Thomas will help you find ways to set them free.
Extensis has a few groups that I like to call the ‘Big Brains’. This is not to say that the rest of us here aren’t big brains, but when you need an answer, the Integration and Consulting Services (ICS) and Priority Technical Support (PTS) teams are the “Go To” folks.
Most of the time the ICS crew is jetting all over the place helping with installations and trainings at customer locations. Not too often do you get to see more than one of them at a time, because they are usually leaping from a flight to a WebEx web conference, right into a phone conference call and then back out the door to another customer meeting. ICS gets to see all kinds of different setups and customer work flows. ICS not only can tell you the best way to implement a solution, they will help integrate it into your daily workflow and then be able to make suggestions for your next steps on how to further improve your business.
Priority Technical Support is housed right here in the Portland office. We’ve got experienced and trained technicians ready to help customers with Annual Service Agreements 24/7/365. You can call and get a ‘warm body’ from 6am – 5pm Pacific time, outside of that we’ve got them wired up with multifunction devices and laptops to be able to help diagnose, resolve and get customers up and running.
With the release of Universal Type Server, Portfolio 8.5 and Fusion 2 we felt it was time to pull the teams together to make sure that everybody could share and build on each other’s knowledge. You would be amazed at the little tips and tricks you can learn from other techs.
The weeklong meeting was a great big brain dump. We had Matt Reinker from PTS get up and talk about optimizations he has seen people implement with MySQL backed Portfolio Catalogs, to James Grace talking about ways that people have expanded upon NetPublish. Shellie Hall talked about questions she has received while helping people implement Universal Type Server. It was a great use of our time and I know that everybody learned many new things.
One fringe benefit was that we were able to take time to put faces to the voices on the other end of the phones. A vast majority of the time ICS and PTS only hear each other’s voices or read email, but rarely do they get to do face time.
On Friday before the ICS people jumped flights back to their respective locations, we took a few hours to go shoot some pool and have some grub and a local bowling alley. It was a great chance to not only challenge each other to a game of 8-ball, but we also got to hear James Grace’s stories about skateboarding through New York’s Central Park.